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Researching is important!

Hi there! Happy new year!

I’m having myself two weeks of vacation for the moment and thought that I would have waaaayyyyy too much time, and so able to write a lot. Well, that hasn’t been the case. One of the reasons is that I’m studying for my exams. I started an evening course in IT this year. I never finished college since I was way to lazy to study, I’m paying for that now. And I understand that it was a mistake to act the way I acted in the past, so I’m trying to sort of redeem myself through this evening course. It’s hard to study, work, sport and write at the same time. But I manage, one way or the other. I’m quitting table tennis next year though, the evening course has priority on everything else so for times sake I have no choice.

One of the things I did do was reviewing everything I had for the moment, and starting to review that (Which was about 11 pages). Of course, as is natural for me, I started doubting the quality and level of writing. So I started to look up writer stuff. And in doing that I discovered the necessity of research. While originally just trying to wing it, that brought a lot of changes with it, and in turn absorbed a lot of time too. Basically I’ve changed, EVERYTHING. And started researching the norse mythos as a basis on which to build my world. I’ve also deleted my prologue, by reading a certain article on Wordplay. This is the link: http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2007/12/skip-prologue.html

What is described in there, is a loose description of what my prologue was meant to do. It was no fun to notice that, it was a feeling that really frustrated me. But still, I can see the logic now and a prologue was no necessity from the start. In fact it was a ploy to force feed my readers information. Which honestly doesn’t sound like a very good idea. So, that’s gone.

Instead of going for the first chapter, I’ll be building up my world first. Drawing some maps, writing the history and conflicts already existing when the story begins. In my daily life I work with maps all the time, since I’m a GIS (geographic information systems) user. It’s something I like to do very much, and so I have a basic understanding of geography and the foundation which our world rests on. You need an actual world as a basis for the characters and the story and since I refuse to use the modern world I just have to create my own. Sure there’ll be some likeness with our world as it is, but which fantasy world doesn’t have those. Drawing has never been one of my good points sadly, but I get the feeling that if I ask someone else to do it, I won’t get the result I want. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and I’m not like to burden other people with that. So I’ll just try and do it myself. Maybe I’ll even post pictures (if it actually looks like a map :P).

As a finishing note, I’ve been having this strange feeling of late when I’m thinking about my writing in general. A sort of nervous feeling. This is something that doesn’t happen a lot. I tend to be a very uninterested person about almost everything. But when I get that feeling, it means I care. Which is a good sign to say the least. And now for some extra time, now that would be awesome 😀

That’s it for this week. If anyone knows some good books of norse,celtic, greek or roman mythology. Or has something to say in general, feel free to leave a comment 🙂

Cya!

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January 2, 2013 · 10:20 pm

A matter of perspective

Hi 😀

In my last post I talked about how I wanted my book to start, and why I wanted it to start that way. Well I pretty much changed that plan already. While I’m still going for the prologue, the only difference is that I plan to start in the past instead of in the future. In doing that, I get the ability to show a character that’s going to be a very big deal in the future. In the story a big “happening”, well, happens. This past character experiences this and is a big factor in causing it too. I thought it would be pretty interesting to start with something like this, because then the readers get a sort of inside look from the beginning. An explanation for events yet to come. Instead of offering a flashback at a later stage, I’d like to establish a sense of knowledge from the get-go. And as I said before it gets people interested in the story and it’s further continuation. Which, as I see it, is a damn (can I say damn in here?) important piece of a book, if not to say the most important. The one that gets you the random readers, walking into the store, seeing the title and wondering, what is this book about? That makes those first pages of the utmost importance. In my eyes a book can rise or fall based on about the first 5 – 10.

As the title might suggest I’ve been pondering about what kind of perspective I’m going to use. My preference goes out to the first person perspective. That way you experience the story as if you were living inside of it yourself. Although it is through the eyes of another person, or character, you can feel the impact of certain words and happenings a great deal more. I plan to use different characters in the first person too, but it’ll only be 3 to 4 characters. That way I’m able focus on these characters more, and people will find it easier to relate with some characters. They can be alot more interesting too, as you are able to experience everything through their eyes and mind. A goal in that perspective would be to actually changed the way I write, depending on the character.

While looking studying the different perspectives for a bit, I came across the omniscient perspective. The thought of writing as an all knowing entity in the universe I’d be creating myself did appeal to me at first. But writing in that manner feels impersonal, detached and I’m not able to empathise with the characters that much. That perspective does provide a certain ease of explanation, you can go everywhere and however you want. For example: a character runs into a town, when using the omniscient form of writing you can just go and explain every single thing of that particular town. When using the first person perspective however, just explaining it doesn’t cut it. The character has to experience it, or else the reader will never know of it. Or let him/her meet another person that happens to be pretty knowledgeable about the place they’re in at the moment. But still, even if I’d have to do a little more work I’m a pretty big proponent of the first perspective. Which is exactly why I’ve chosen this it.

Now for something else, naming. In my last post I questioned the fact if it would be a good idea to follow some naming guidelines, like languages or time periods. I decided to go with a sort of gut feeling in the that department. When I feel a certain name is fits the story, or character, that’s when I’ll decide it stays. In the hopes it forms a bit of a coherent result. So, in trying that, I tried to come up with a name for one of the key characters of my story. The first name was hard to come up with, but all in all it took only about 10 minutes. The last name however was horrific, the fact that another character has to carry this name too made it really hard to just pick one. I did find a very handy tool to aid me in that aspect of the writing process.In the previous post, I talked about the writing.com community and its motivational character. I went to their website yesterday and noticed a small banner on the top of the page talking about writing prompts. Not knowing what the hell a writing prompt is, I looked it up. And it seems these are random items of text that can give you some inspiration about what to write next, or where to place a certain scene. While these things are handy, but less important to me, because most of the time I know what has to happen where and when. The cool thing is, they have character prompts too. Personality, name, age, occupation… While I’m not planning on completely copying said prompts, they did give me some good ideas for the name I was thinking about yesterday and I’m sure they will for future characters. If this has sparked your interest, both of these are available as apps on android and IOS. For less than 5 euro, you can have both of these apps which can keep the inspiration killing monster at bay.

These were my thoughts and questions of the week, and if you happen to have a comment, feel free to leave one 🙂

Until next week, cya!

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